Monday, December 28, 2009

Tribute to a great believer who's gone home.

Christmas was a wonderful season this year. While our church lost one of it's long time members just before the holiday, we all felt blessed during the season. We celebrated with his wife, the memory of a person who gave of himself continually to the need of others. His life verse was "you must be born again." He told everyone he met those very words. Everything about his life was a blessing to others. He constantly gave of himself to help others. Hopefully we can all do the same

Sunday, November 22, 2009


"Give Thanks with a grateful heart."

We have much to be thankful for in our world. Yes, we may be going through a recession, but God still cares for His people. When we stop to ponder, we realize that we are blessed to overflowing.

Monday, November 16, 2009

We are not Super-Pastor's

Look up in the front it's a singer. No, it's an entertainer. No, it's a prayer. No, it's a manager. No, it's the C.E.O. No, it's a compassionate friend. Actually it's just the smaller church pastor, and it must be Sunday morning.

Somewhere between planning worship, preparing sermons, and visiting the sick you are still called to help feed the poor and encourage the newly wed's down the street. How can one person do so many things? Well remember Paul said, "I was all things to all people that some might be saved." This is our motto, and our creed. We praise this creed, and promote it to others would follow in our footsteps.

For Superman it was the the sun which gave him his extraordinary strength, with which to do his mighty deeds. The reality is that for us we need to spend our time with the Son, as well. We do not minister under our power, but in the power of time spent with Scripture regularly in our lives. Be sure your soaking in the the Son continually to be a vibrant minister long term

Monday, October 12, 2009

Keep It Real With Those Closest To You

You need to keep it real with family, and with the leaders you work alongside. You may need to give information to your leaders, at the right time, but don't withhold information too long, or you risk loosing their trust. Trust is essential in working together in church leadership.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The busy life

We had one of the most busy times since arriving here at Clifton during August and September. The church celebrated 150 years of ministry. Amazingly the usual few people offered their help in preparing. With historical research, preparations for dinners, and all of the work to carry it off I know several of us put in 80 hour weeks for over a month. Was it worth it? I am still not sure.

In many ways celebrating the victories of the past can be a blessing, but I also watched some people show their sadness and anger with times of struggle in the past of the church. I think remembering is good, and that working through life is needed. The only way we can move ahead and change ourselves is to change our past, but we must truly use history as a tool to push us to a strong future. I and others stressed this, as we celebrated the past.

We were challenged to move to a brighter, stronger future by a former District Superintendent. We were challenged to move and grow to a place beyond our current size and out grow our facility. The potential exists. God is big enough. I just pray we all were listening, and that hearts are willing to grow.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

We All Need An Update and Reboot

This morning before starting my devotions I started the automatic antivirus updates. I did my devotions, and took some time to think. In a real sense doing daily devotions of Bible reading, prayer, thinking, and journal writing is a way of updating and rebooting our spiritual lives. We go through each day and hear and see millions of things that are unholy, unrighteous, and ungodly. We all need time to step away from the everyday. We need to download the thought and presence of God to protect us against the evil of this world. It strengthens us to be able to continue our work in the world around us. Make sure your taking your daily update and reboot in devotions.

- Keep on your journey with Jesus.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Church Camp Still A Needed Element of Spiritual Growth

I am part of a Holiness denomination, which was built on the foundation of camp meetings. A time of bringing together all who people of the same faith, belief, and foundational background. For many this is a blessed tradition, of getting away from the everyday life to spend time focused on spiritual growth.

I didn’t grow up in this background, but began attending with my wife when I was twenty. She loved going to camp, and I quickly fell in love with the Northern Michigan camp we attended. We were blessed by many speakers, special music, and the fellowship with those of kindred spirit. It was nice to get away from the computers and television to enjoy some time with God. Helping out with children’s ministry a couple of years was an additional blessing. It is great to enjoy the outdoor’s, and a place a little off the beaten trail.

The problem today is that many, even in our own denomination are forgetting the revivals and the blessings of going to camp meetings. Many feel that older camps are far too outdated to be effective. They want glamour, flash, new buildings, and physically aesthetic places to seek God. Some are closing campgrounds, even when people are coming in large number. They may wish to build a more modern facility, which will cost far more than adding or maintaining what is already owned.

I find it funny to hear friends in other districts who are facing these fights to save their campgrounds. People will not come to an old tabernacle to worship, yet the younger generation will gather in garages, pole barns, warehouses, and even barns to worship every week. The younger generation may be hooked on IPODS and computers, but when they worship they love traditional atmosphere, with new amenities. Maybe those considering closing a camp should look at this upcoming culture and realize what they really like. With a few modernized changes, most due to electronics and not the look of the building a camp may be able to be used for the next generation to be blessed by a new revival spirit.

We now live in Central Illinois and our district hasn’t had camp in years. There is a great separation between many of our church. We do gather yearly for conference and we try to get together at other times, but it is difficult to pull the district together at times. We miss the fellowship of pastors, generations of believers gathering for worship, and the atmosphere of revival found at church camp.

My wife is in ministry training and attends FLAME courses from the Wesleyan Church. They often use district camps to offer training through out the country. I am blessed to join her each year in Frankfort, Indiana; at the Wesleyan Campground. It is not exactly like going to a family camp, but it helps to fill the void missing to the two of us. I hope and pray that those considering the closure of camps think long and hard about the purpose of camp meeting. I also hope they never forget either the foundation we are built upon, or the ability to reach the next generation through camping. May the fires of revival continue to burn from campgrounds, just as the fires of the campers shine into the darkness of the night.

- Keep on your journey with Jesus

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Helpmate in Ministry

Billy Sunday once said, "Praise your wife, even if it scares her at first." Does your spouse fear when you are being kind, or say a kind word. More important, how high in value is your spouse. I know I do not thank my wife enough for standing by my side in the ministry. I try to say thank you, but then I know the sacrifice, the work, the time, and the energy she puts into the ministry alongside me.

There are many young people going into ministry who may say, "Ministry is my calling, and my spouse has no need of being involved. The churches I candidate to must understand that she is not a free laborer for the Lord."

My wife would argue that she is called to work along my side, and that ministry is package, which she is very happy to be a part of. She is valued by those who seek her counsel, the children she ministers to, and those whom she is able to demonstrate her gifts of hospitality to.

She is not paid in monetary amounts, and she gets tired. However, she understands the bigger picture of the Kingdom. It is the Kingdom she willingly keeps in mind when she works alongside me as helpmate, advisor, and friend.

Yes, I know we should set limits and be responsible with the most precious resource we have on earth; our spouse. I am not saying that you should sit back and let a church walk on your spouse. However, your spouse should be part of your ministry. They should be as involved as you expect any parishioner in your church to be involved. Too many seeking or in ministry are willing to protect their personal time and family involvement, while expecting high commitment from members within the church. Be sure your commitment levels in your ministry begin within your own life, and your own family example.

- Keep on the Journey with Jesus today

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ride the Wave God Sends You

Jesus said that we should be watchful of the seasons, and know when the times are approaching. He compared farmers who watch the seasons to know when to plant or harvest. As ministers much of the success we will have will be due to learning to ride the waves God sends our way.

We may go through weeks, or even months of normal everyday activity. We sometimes get lost in the mundane, and then all of a sudden many things start happening in our churches. It may be that several families start coming all near the same time, or several people get saved. Maybe a new ministry is launched that has a far larger reach than expected. Then an older person who has been struggling for many years comes forward for prayer, and soon several others are at the altar renewing their passion for Christ.

We need to preach "in season, and out of season," as Paul instructs Timothy. That is to continue to minister to people no matter what is going on, or how little there may seem to be going on. Yet, we must always keep our eyes open. Often what looks to be a small breakthrough will have far reaching effects in lives of others. Churches that haven't seen a salvation in years may open the door by one or two people coming to Christ. We need to be aware of God's moving among us. We must ride the wave of blessings and open doors he may send our way.

We are in a season of blessing, after a year of rebuilding. I made the decision a month ago to make a new attempt at building a new youth program, after have a shut down a year ago. In the process we hosted an event for youth and young adults. Over the last year our young adult Bible study averages about four or five people. By combining the fun event, in an attempt to bring in youth we actually added four or five more people to our young adults. These four or five additions within one month are already getting involved in ministries, such as helping with VBS.

We have been able to reach a few young teens, which was the goal. However, God sometimes takes the wave in directions we do not expect. Through one ministry plan we may see other ministries blessed.

Watch what God is doing. Where are the open doors He is sending your way? Where do you see the current wave of your ministry? Get on and ride. If your in doldrums, just pray and wait, because another wave of blessing is soon coming your way.

- Keep on the journey for Jesus in your lives

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Keep on Focus and Purpose

Most of us have probably heard of the lighthouse keeper, who was given his monthly delivery of oil to keep the light shining brightly. The lighthouse safely guided hundreds of ships around the jagged shoreline. The lighthouse keeper diligently worked to keep the glass clean, and repairing any damage. He never wanted to let the ships in need down.

The days of the month passed by, and one evening as a storm was reported to come their way, a man came to visit the keeper. The man requested a gallon of fuel to help him run the stove on his boat, it would be the only way he would be able to eat on his journey. The keeper was reluctant, but gave the request to the man. Several days later a woman came to the kind keeper in tears, and begged some fuel to heat her home. You see at home she had a very sick child and without heat in the home the child would likely die. Two more requests of life threatening need pulled at the light keepers heart, and he was driven to help with more fuel.

Late in the month a raging storm arose. The skies were dark and the waves crashed against the rocks below the light. In the darkest part of the storm the keeper ran out of fuel for the light. Soon a ship carrying two hundred people came near the shore. The Captain could not see the rocks near the shore. The light house keeper sat helpless and in tears as he watched the ship crash on the shore and most of the people perished in the rough waves.

The light keeper had one main job. Keep the light lit. However, many things pulled at the keeper. In the end he did not have the fuel to do the job, because he had forgotten the main purpose and focus of his work.

Many people in our world today do the same thing. We stretch ourselves between many things that may seem important and good at the time, yet we are spread thin and ineffective to carry out the purpose God may have given us to do. I see this in ministers and in church goers where ever I have been. Life is hard to balance, and someone will always want our time. Many of the things we could be doing may even be good things to do.

Recently I have preached on Gideon, who God told to reduce the number of men from over twenty thousand to three hundred. The first order God gave was to send anyone home who was afraid or worried about their families at home. God understands that we need focus, and knew men divided in their task would fall prey to failing in the mission. I also have started a series in Corinthians, in which Paul says, "For I resolved to no nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified."

Family, friends, work, hobbies, sports, and more will pull at our lives. We may even have requests of other ministries across town, or across the world. We do need to help with missions needs, yet we must keep a strong balance. While helping with other good things may be a blessing for the moment, if it causes us to drop our focus, our help, our responsibility in the ministry God has called us to we still fail in meeting our purpose. It is the idea that we sacrifice the great by doing the good.

In my 16 years of working around churches I have watched ministers put their needed work aside for ministries that are good, and miss meeting the needs within their own mission field. I have watched church attenders go across town to be involved in studies, and yet question ministers at the church they call home as to why studies can't grow here. I have seen people focus so much on good works that they never find Jesus Christ as Lord, but fall prey to a "works" religion. I have watched people wanting to support family who have put church aside to be with their children in every way, and in the end they can not figure out why those kids are not growing in the church or in Christ.

We all are light house keepers of the Hope and Word of Jesus Christ. We all need to keep our focus on the mission for our lives. I am not advocating that we stop missions support, or stop seeking to do good. What I am saying is that we can do these special things from time to time, but that we must never forget the main purpose that God give each of us. You see what ever your gift is in your church, it is needed. I guarantee you are missed when you are not there. More important, an opportunity for reaching a lost soul may be missed, because you are stretched to thin or maybe missing in action.

- Keep on the Journey with Jesus today.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sometimes we must be the gate keeper

I know a lot has been said in leadership circles about knowing who the gate keepers in the church are. The idea is that we must learn to work through those in the church who can support and make an idea come to fulfillment in the church. However, as ministers we must step up to the fact that we are gatekeepers of the theology and Biblical teaching of the church that we pastor.

I recall a few years ago, sitting in a Bible study and challenging everyone to say if they had grown up in the Wesleyan Church. I already knew the answer. There were thirteen people in the room, and my wife was the only one who had grown up in a Wesleyan church. I grew up in a Baptist church, but have found a solid foundation in the Wesleyan church. The church I am privileged to pastor was formed as a Congregational church in 1859, and became Wesleyan in 1975. Many of the elderly still struggle to understand their identity as Wesleyan's.

I was impressed at our District conference yesterday to hear Dr. Jerry Pence state that defining who we are is a priority of the church. It is not that I believe no other denomination is heaven bound, but to be tossed around in a world filled with human thought will not help us stand firm. We must take a firm stand on the foundation of beliefs that we choose to uphold. For myself this is the leading of men like John and Charles Wesley.

We as leaders have a responsibility to keep our people from falling prey to the plethora of thoughts that they get from our world through the variety of media that exists. Our minds are on information overload, and for many they are getting lost and missing true hope of knowing Jesus Christ.

- Keep on Your Journey with Jesus

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Where Have All the Prophets Gone?

This past week a friend sent me one of those online personality tests. It was based on Bible characters. The test revealed that I have an Elijah personality. It was greatly encouraging (ha, ha). Elijah was a great prophet, willing to say what needed said, willing to confront the need, willing to preach what God said, and faithful to God's leading. However, Elijah was depressed, often ran away after fights to rest, and in many ways might be considered a manic depressive by today's standards.

This all made me think. Elijah preached hard and confronted the sin of his day. He was not a people-pleaser, and never compromised. He had to live outside the normal way of life, and was considered an enemy of the state and many of the average people. Other prophets did similar things. When Samuel came to anoint David people were afraid. They wondered why the "Prophet of God" was coming to town. Isaiah had to confront the situations in some very strange ways. Jeremiah was thrown into a cistern to think about his confrontation of the ways of Israel.

I wonder sometimes if in our world of positive thinking, self image building, and leadership development; is there room for the Elijah's and other prophets? Those men and women who are simply willing to carry God's Word to a world living and lost in sin. Have we, in our effort to be loving, lost our zeal to confront the worlds sinful ways? Have we compromised to the waves of public opinion?

I know it was easier for the prophets who had to come to town only when God said to come. They could preach hard and walk away from town to leave the people to decide to do the right thing, or live with the consequences. Yet, I would rather burn out in a blaze of fire like Elijah, than face my Father in Heaven one day to account for not saying what He has told me to say.

May we as ministers preach with conviction, worship with sincerity, and live with passion that is filled with Christ our Lord.

- Keep on your journey with Jesus today

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Who's Responsible For Our Culture

Recently I used on our church sign, which apparently attracted the young people's attention. While using signs to attract attention is a good thing. I apparently was unaware that this term which is intended to get attention was changing it's meaning. My son told me that it didn't have the same meaning to his friends, as he put it, 'like gay used to mean happy.' You know the funny thing is that in the technical sense gay still means happy in the dictionary.

I then told my son,"It isn't my fault that people want to destroy the meaning of words. It is up to those people of your generation to try to stop the destruction of good English words, by using them correctly. It is up to you to take captive the wrong, and seek to make it right."

This really makes you think, because the reality is that it is up to each generation to grow in their understanding of right and wrong. It is up to them to defend the right, by doing, saying, living, and walking in what is right. If we allow culture to capture us in it's grasp, then we will never change the culture for good and Godliness. We as parents, pastors, teachers, and mentors must teach the next generation to take stands on principles of right, holiness, and goodness. We must teach them to speak up and make a difference in the culture of our world.

While culture will continue to change, we must take the challenge to reach the culture at their level. However, it doesn't mean that we ever put aside our values or beliefs. In fact the more culture changes toward sinfulness, the more we must stand in holiness. The world will not follow us if we are not the counter cultural expression of Jesus love and holiness in our world. We must take captive the sinful ways of the world in prayer, and work with the Holy Spirit to change our world for God.

-- Keep on your journey with Jesus today.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Again

Monday Again. The busy weekend is behind us, and the Monday Blaahs have been worked through. God moves. God is good.
- Keep on Your Journey with Jesus.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Praise God For Busy Days, As well as Days of Rest

I want to say thank you to our gracious Lord for the past few weeks of very busy times. I know we all have busy schedules, but sometimes we are so busy we forget to say thanks to God for allowing the energy and drive to stay busy. In the recent weeks of prepartations for the Easter holiday season I was busy, but I praise God for the two souls who accepted Christ yesterday. The efforts of hard work and busyness seem light, when you weigh the two souls who came to know Jesus.

Jesus drove himself in the last weeks leading up to the Cross. We should expect no less than to work with Him in the carrying on this work of the cross (salvation) today.

Today I am working at a far more leisurely pace and I praise God for this easy start to the week too. He knows what we need, and will give us the energy to face ever trial, storm, and peaceful day in Him.

-- Keep on the journey with Jesus today

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Look Further and see More

I have been taking our church through a study on the book of John. I didn't allow myself the usual time I would to cover a study on Christ's life. I went through and broke the book of John up on a less detailed pattern. Don't get me wrong, I personally still have to go through and study far longer texts.

You see often when I preach I focus on part of a chapter, possibly ten or twenty verses at the most. However, I am seeing John unfold in a new way, since we are following entire sections as they unfold. From Christ's beginnings to a night before going to the cross. The sections of the book tell a far different story than one may get by looking only at few verses.

For instance, this week we are looking at the week Jesus goes to the Feast of Tabernacles. In this week at various points Jesus shows that He is clearly the Messiah. The crowds and Jewish leaders show clearly that they are unwilling to accept the truth which stood before them. The question of the fulfillment of Jesus birth, his home town, his ability to do miralces and more come out in John 7 through 9. This clear message of who Jesus was could be missed if you only take sections, such as the Woman Caught in Adultry, one by one.

I do believe indepth study is very necessary, but we must always keep the big picture in mind. After all if we loose ourselves looking at small points and miss the biggest points of Salvation, Hope, Joy, Peace, and God's Love. We will miss an awful lot.

- Keep on your journey with Jesus

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Christ Mission Leads us Beyond our Comfort

When Jesus led the disciples through Samaria, instead of to the eastern side of the Jordan it was a time of learning that God's Hope is for everyone. They were traveling a way not normally taken, and going through where people they really didn't love lived. However, they knew the usually road home would have been filled with many who were in opposition to the message.

Jesus didn't despair, because the road taken was different than the usual way. In fact, Jesus used the opportunity to witness to a woman by a well in the heat of the day. He latter reminded the disciples that His food was to do God's will in reaching the world. There are some great things to learn about Jesus going outside of the usual way that we should keep in mind in our daily routine and witness for Jesus.

  1. God will challenge us to look outside our normal routine in order to reach the souls of the world around us. a. Sometimes God has to forcibly move us to the place where He wants us to be.

2. To reach new people for Jesus, it takes fresh and new approaches
a. This is true in going to every new culture of our world
i. The Culture of an area
ii. The Culture of a people
iii. The Culture of a generation
3) We must reach people where they are: their level of understanding and their need
4) The Methods of Reaching change, but the Message for the heart never changes
a. Jesus never accepted the woman’s sinful life
b. Jesus did love her as a person
c. Jesus did not accept the woman’s mixed up version of the truth

5) What this means for us & reaching our world:
a.We must be open to where the Holy Spirit leads us
b. We must realize we live in a Secular Society, and we must reach people where they live
c. We must learn to understand the culture we live in, so that we can be missionaries to our own society
d. We must not compromise the truth of Scripture
e. We must make the truth understandable to the Culture we live in

We must step up, and step out where ever Christ calls us. We must be the witness to our world.

- God Bless your Journey with Jesus today

Friday, February 20, 2009

Go Fishing

I enjoy fishing. There is nothing like standing by a quiet moving river, or sitting by a calm lake in the early morning. I do not get to go fishing as often as I like, and I am far from an expert angler. In fact, when I go fishing my wife and son always say, “Pizza for supper tonight."

About ten years ago, the three of us took a vacation to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, spending a week on a good fishing lake. We were able to go fishing every day for as long as we wanted to go. It was a very nice secluded area, and the fishing wasn’t bad. While the lake did have Bass and Pike, we were blessed with many pan fish. We enjoyed the fresh fish and the time together.

Late in the week, we were fishing in a small cove far away from any houses. We had caught a few fish, and were watching an eagle on the trees nearby. Suddenly I felt a small tug on my line. I began to reel the line slowly, and it became extremely heavy. Soon the water thrashed and the fight was on. I turned the reel and tugged my pole for what seemed like an hour, although it was only seconds. The fish was coming near the boat, and I asked my wife to get the net to get this monster fish in the boat. I had not caught a fish that fought like this, since I was about ten years old.

My adrenaline was high; my wife watched the water as the fish approached. I called again for the net. Then just as the fish came along side the boat there was a hit to the side of the aluminum boat, a splash followed, and then the struggle stopped. My pole straightened and out of the water came a four inch Perch. The bulging eyes of surprise on the fish nearly matched my own. What had been on that line?

My wife revealed to me that she could see the fish swim away under our boat, and it looked like a four foot Pike to her. I was devastated. To this day it remains a running joke in our home that mom never got the net quick enough to get the big fish into the boat. A typical day of fishing ended later and we had pan fish for dinner. Yet, the one that got away was still fun to try and catch, and the memory will always be with me.

We read in the Bible that after a long night of fishing with little luck Jesus asked Simon to put out and fish again. Simon went out again, listening to this carpenter who was no expert at fishing. Simon and his brother soon had to call their partners to help bring in what was likely the largest haul anyone had ever seen in Galilee. Most men would have wanted to get right to fishing again. However, these men recognized that Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus challenged them to change what they were in the fishing business for. He asked them to fish for men.

We as followers of Jesus are still in the fishing business. I have learned from some wonderful people that there are techniques and equipment that do help when you go fishing. We can see from some of these things, how we can use better strategy to reach the souls of men and women in our world too.

  • We need to be in the right place at the right time: in fishing, it may be the right part of a lake or river, or maybe near a nice weed bed or drop off. When trying to reach people it is keeping our eyes open to the changing tides of their lives. We have opportunity to reach people when they are in transition. A new job, a new baby, a move, marriage, or a death in the family often make people open to spiritual things.

  • We need to go where they are: I have not had fish just come to me yet. When you go fishing, you have to pack your gear and go to a lake or river. When you get there, you have to find the place they are biting and go. Only recent stories of the growing Asian Carp in the Illinois River are exception, as they jump out of the water to attack people in their boats. Usually we will have to go to people. People will not just stop by our homes and say, ‘I want to become a Christian.’ We need to be with people in order to have opportunity to save them.

  • Use attractive Bait: In fishing, you have to change your bait depending on many factors. In the spring, you can use hatching larva, but in summer months you may need to use bait that looks like grown bugs. We must realize that our lives are the attraction to people. This is true of the life of a believer, and of the church. In both church body and individual, we must be attractive. It is not likely that you will be able to use the same technique with a seventy-year-old widow that you would with a twenty-year-old college student. Good anglers study the area they are trying to fish, and good witnesses study before inviting people to Jesus.

  • Use the right Equipment: Similar to having bait you need to have good equipment for the fish you are going after. You would not fish for one hundred pound shark on a two-pound fresh water line. When we know we are going into witness to a person who is less open we may want to prepare with some Apologetic resources. We are not going to dump deep theological questions on a young child, but we may if the person has already done some deep research and has questions. Be ready for the challenge you are facing.

  • Close the net: It is vital to close the net or pull the net up at just the right moment. If you move to quick, it will scare a fish away. If you move too slowly, the fish may see you and swim past. In our witness to others there will come a moment when we must ask the question of whether they are saved and whether they want to be in Christ’s family. Do not miss that moment. We must ask the question and close the net at that time, or we will miss the opportunity.

  • Patience and trust in the Holy Spirit: The hardest part of fishing for most people is the wait. Many people in our busy world cannot fish, because it is too stressful on them to remain calm and quiet. This is true of many Christian witnesses too. They cannot wait upon the Lord to tell them when or how to speak. They cannot wait upon the person being ready to accept the Lord. They sometimes push so hard that the person breaks away and runs. We must be patient in the Holy Spirit and move when we feel His calling.

I encourage you to get out and drop your fishing lines for Christ. If you have not had a lot of luck lately, have patience and trust that God will guide you to the right person. Keep your eyes open and sometimes the opportunity will be a surprise right before you. God bless, and happy fishing.
- Keep on the journey with Jesus today.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Follow the Dream

Growing up I had a poster with an astronaut in space which read, "Those who dare to dream, dare to do." I grew up wanting, like many children to be more than what I was. I dreamt of being an astronaut, or making a difference in the world. Time has changed some of my dreams, but I never stop dreaming.

Deep in my heart, as the dark and stillness of night is around, a stirring wakes me. I can not sleep, I must write down the thoughts and ideas that press from the depths of my inner most being. The thoughts surface and I see the way things can be. The way things should be. I see a church that is carrying out the work of Jesus Christ in such a way that everyone is on fire and involved with the process. I see people helping one another to become what God has purposed for their lives. I see lives turning from a past of sin and lost direction to focus and living for Jesus.

God still gives dreams to those who are willing to listen. It is He who directs the path of the leader who lives in His Word. If we are to remain open to God's leading, then we must be willing to dream. We must be willing to change our lives as God gives us vision. We must take the risks and live where God is showing the way.

I would rather strive to follow the dreams God puts in my heart, then sit on the sidelines of life.

Let God direct your dreams. You will never go, if you can't envision the way.

- Keep on your joureny with Jesus today

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Decisions Are Tough, But Needed

When making big decisions, it is a challenge to see the end of the road. Sometimes we have to take the risk, and jump in with both feet. Sometimes we should pray and consider before moving ahead. In the end the only choices that are complete bad are the ones never considered.

How to proceceed?

Ask God, in prayer and waiting upon His guidance.
Seek advice of godly people in your life.
Seek advice of experts in the area of your question.
Weigh the cost and the benifits.
Pray again.

God will bless the road we take, but we should always be sure we are taking the road that He is leading us down.

- Keep on your Journey with Jesus today

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Church Valentines a great sucess

The church valentine banquet was a great sucess at our church last night. Forty people came out for a wonderful night of food, fellowship, games, and movie. The youth traditionally has carried this banquet, but with the changes in youth leadership and so few youth in our church now I was a bit concerned. However, the great people here at Clifton Wesleyan Church pulled together for a great banquet. All proceeds will help off set some of the costs for the 150th anniversary celebration in September.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Mistake of Not Running the Calendar

I must admit from time to time I forget one of the basic rules of life and minstry taught me by the first Senior Pastor I worked under. He told me to 'run your calendar, or your calendar will run you'. I have been so busy lately that I haven't stopped to say hello, or pass on a note to my readers and friends. I was run over by my calendar leading up to Christmas.

Were the things I was doing a benifit to God's Kingdom? I would like to believe so. However, this doesn't take away the fact that I have not been able to do some of the things I enjoy. I enjoy spending quiet Christmas Eve's by the light of the Christmas tree contmplating God's love for me. I enjoy taking a walk in my neighborhood and praying over the homes of my neighbors as I go. It is a joy to read a book, just for the joy of reading and not for study.

Since October I have been unable to many things I enjoy, because the demand of the ministry has kept me busy. Yet, I am the one who makes my schedule. Like many of you I sometimes have a hard time saying no, and find myself far too busy.

We took four days as a family from January First to Today. I didn't worry about the service (at least not much). I didn't visit people in need, although I visited a lot of family. I didn't preach, (at least not offically). I enjoyed the company of family, which I only see a few times a year. I took a walk through the snow. I acted young, and went sledding. I played games with my family, and extened family. I revived my soul by listening instead of preaching as Sunday message.

Even as I drove home I felt my revived soul urging me to move ahead. New Sermon ideas just seemed to flow to my mind and heart. I know we need rest, and there are demanding times of year. I only pray that God will help me to say no once in a while, and learn to run my calendar a bit more dilligently. I pray the same for each and every one of us in this New Year.

- Keep on your journey with Jesus